WLG #402: Awesome and Potentially Awesome!

A column article by: Kyle Garret

You know, I could come up with some trite little intro here about how all of these books are connected in some way.  I could do that, gentle readers, but you would see right through me.  You would know that the only thing these books have in common is that I think they’re all awesome or at least have the potential to be awesome.

And, really, when have I ever led you astray?

The Potentially Awesome Books of the Week

I have come to the realization that the best superhero comics currently being published are creator owned.  There are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which being that creator owned books are only bound by the ideas of their creators.  They don’t have to maintain any kind of status quo for fear of publishing a book that’s at odds with a movie; they’re not creating stories to keep copyrights alive.

This is why a book like Danger Club is so appealing.  It’s not that the idea of all the adult superheroes dying in outer space and their sidekicks being left behind to replace them is that ingenious, but the execution has the potential to be.  Imagine a superhero world in which people actually grow and change – and even die and stay dead.  That’s the canvass Danger Club is being painted on.  It also looks really good.

I was wary of Fanboys vs. Zombies when I first heard about it.  Yes, I generally have faith in the abilities of Sam Humphries to give me a good story.  But a book about fanboys just felt so insular.  Then you add zombies to that and you have a book that seems like a one note joke.  But, hey, for only a dollar, I’m willing to take a chance.

If the preview pages I’ve seen are any indication, I shouldn’t be worried.  The art looks great and the dialogue was entertaining.  The characters appear to be fully realized.  I can now see the potential that this book could have, and I’m looking forward to it.

The Books That Are Already Awesome

It some ways, it’s not what the story in Fatale is that makes it so great, so much as how that story is being told.  Seeing how great the duel narrative in this book is makes me realize just how well that narrative technique works with this medium.  It also makes me aware that we see it to rarely, and, when we do, it’s not executed nearly as well as it is in Fatale.

The duel narrative has also given Brubaker and Phillips the ability to create a complex mythology in just a few issues, yet still giving each issue room to breathe.  If you’re reading Brubaker’s Marvel work and you aren’t reading this, you need to remove your head from your behind and jump on board.

And speaking of creative narrative techniques, this week gives us Action Comics #8, the latest in a series that has been incredibly disjointed.  Don’t get me wrong; I like disjointed, but I can see how it has turned some people off.  The jumping around in time and space has also turned this into a really, really long first arc.  While I generally try to read Morrison’s work in single issue form, this is one of those times where I think it might read better in the collected edition.  Still, any Superman story written by Morrison is worth checking out.

The Awesome Book of Legend

And speaking of Grant Morrision, we’re finally getting the collected edition of his legendary series, Flex Mentallo.  I’ve only seen bits and pieces of this series, as I was late to the party on Doom Patrol, but from what I’ve read online it’s the greatest comic book series ever created.  Okay, that’s probably hyperbole, but that’s what you’ll find if you go looking for opinions on Flex Mentallo.

I’m not sure how the legal red tape between DC and Charles Atlas was finally worked out so that this book could get published, but I always had faith in Warner Brothers’ deep pockets that they’d work something out.

This will, of course, make me go back and read Morrison’s entire Doom Patrol run again, so consider this a bonus recommendation: those are awesome comics, too.

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